Turkey Golf, September 2018 Report

On 12th September 28 lucky souls assembled at Manchester Airport for the annual overseas Portland Golf event. We decided to return to Turkey following 3 years in Spain and Portugal. The £6 price tag for a pint of lager in the departure lounge didn’t put some people off as they were on their hols. The flight was more or less on time and despite the previous days problems of 2 hour queues in security it was fairly painless.

Arriving in Turkey we were greeted by Laura Golf Travel reps who provided a glass of bubbly and a stress free transfer to our hotel the Kaya Palazzo Belek. There were a couple of complaints about rooms which were swiftly and efficiently dealt with by the hotel and we all settled in for the night.

An early start with a 09:04 tee time saw a rushed breakfast and a swift packaging of supplies for the golf, and we were taken by golf buggy to the hotels own course for day 1. It made a pleasant change to play golf in 30deg and sun rather than the rain we had left behind. And day one gave the following results.

Men
   
Ladies
 
 Bob Sinclair   38 Gail Robertson   31
 Johnny Shepherd   37 Carol Aikin   25
 Bob Chadwick   35 Lynda Brady   25

 

If we thought day 1 was an early start I don’t think we were prepared for Mel telling us that next day was an 08:06 start and it was a minibus drive away, so 07:15 collection. This caused some anguish as restaurant didn’t open until 07:00. So a quick bowl of cereal and packed lunch and off we went. One of our party from Wigan Colin Melling kept us waiting whilst he made his version of a Wigan Kebab which consisted of Turkey on a muffin. We arrived at the Carya course which is the venue for the Turkish Open. During the course of the day Colin decided to enjoy the fruits of his labours only to be thwarted by a Turkish crow who he reckons followed him, waited until he unwrapped his butty and  whilst he was taking his put made off with the turkey. We’re not sure if it was the same bird, but on the next hole a crow picked up his ball off the green and tried to make off with it, only a screaming banshee attack from Colin retrieved the ball.

Results
Ladies
 
Frances Sinnott 30
Gail Robertson 26
Carol Aiken 24
Men
 
Dave McGovern 33
Phil Lancaster 31
Kevin Bolton 30

 

Day 3 was another early start this time to the PGA Sultan course so another early start and hastily packed lunch Colin double wrapping his this time. There were no real incidents of note this day and a challenging course gave a lot of satisfaction ( I think that’s what they said) to all.

Ladies Results
 
Mens Results
Frances Sinnott 26 Phil Lancaster 33
Gail Robertson 25 Kevin Bolton 30
Carol Aiken 24 Bob Sinclair 29

 

We were greeted with the news that the tee times the next day were beginning at 12:06, although a cheer broke out that we could have a lie in, the results at the course proved the benefits of an early tee. Although we had booked 10 buggies booked in advance when we arrived there were none to be had. One of our party had the foresight to bring a medical note so they had to find one for him but we had the situation where one of our ladies would be unable to play unless one was found. The compromise we were given was an electric trolley for 9 holes switching to a buggy for back 9. This still wasn’t enough for one of our party but eventually we managed to acquire one. To say it was challenging was an understatement my electric buggy gave up the ghost after two holes and the freshly acquired buggy decided to shed a tyre after 3 holes. The girls eventually got a replacement buggy and my electric one was exchanged for a pull one. The Gloria golf course wasn’t so Glorious

Ladies Results
 
Mens Results
Frances Sinnott 25 Bob Chadwick 36
Gail Robertson 24 Brian Chambers 33
Carol Aiken 22 Johnny Shepherd 31

 

Our final game on Tuesday was at the Montgomerie course, and back to the 08:00 start but following the issues with buggies no complaints made. The added bonus of this course was the fact that the 19th  provided a free bar and food offer, the early finishers took full advantage of this fact. The food was actually some of the best found at the golf clubs.

 

Results
Ladies
 
Gail Robertson 31
Frances Sinnott 30
Carol Aiken 28
Gents
 
Johnny Shepherd 38
John Leigh 37
Robin Bailey 35

 

Overall Results
 Ladies
 
Kaya
Carya
Sultan
Gloria
Montgomerie
Total
Gail Robertson 31 26 25 24 31 137
Frances Sinnott 22 30 26 25 30 133
Carol Aiken 25 24 24 22 28 123
Chris Waterfield 23 15 23 21 27 109
Lynda Brady 25 21 17 15 20 98
 Men
Johnny Shepherd 37 30 28 31 38 164
Bob Sinclair 38 29 29 26 33 155
Phil Lancaster 30 31 33 30 31 155
Bob Chadwick 35 23 22 36 34 150
Kevin Bolton 30 30 29 24 30 143

 

The hotel provided a great holiday with excellent rooms and food and drink aplenty. Following one evening of struggling to find a number of tables to allow us to eat together the restaurant manager opened a room especially for our group and provided us with our own waiters. This then became our room for the duration of the holiday.

 

The group as usual made their own entertainment most nights, and we only got one warning about the noise, think it was for the out of tune singing (no names no pack drill).

 

On the rare occasion where we had a rest from the golf some of our party decided to go on a Segway off road trail it was quite a strange experience.

 

It was an excellent holiday and thanks go to Mel for organising it. The one sour note from our stay was that one of our party Annemarie Banks took ill on the last day and had to be taken to hospital. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to travel back with us and at time of writing this is still in hospital in Turkey. The good news is that she is no longer in intensive care but still in critical care. Our best wishes go to her for a speedy recovery. Thanks also go to Golfing Experience, and Laura Golf Travel for the support to Annemarie when she was first admitted.

Kevin Bolton